David Campbell Bannerman (ECR ). - Madam President, the escalation of armed conflict – thanks to ISIS – across Iraq and neighbouring Syria has resulted in a serious and worsening humanitarian crisis. There have been new and secondary movements of internally displaced people (IDPs) across the entire region. The numbers are really staggering, with approximately three million in Iraq and 7.6 million in Syria.
One issue disclosed at a recent Iraq delegation meeting is that there is very little information on those in ISIS-controlled areas. The real extent of the humanitarian challenge is well hidden. As the brave Peshmerga and Iraqi forces push to regain territory from ISIS, such as at Kobani, so we see the true extent of the underlying damage and deprivation. Many of those internally displaced have been subject to the most unthinkable of crimes, with large numbers of women and children raped or sexually abused by ISIS. There is a great need for counselling support, not just the basics.
As President of the Iraq delegation, I encourage international partners, the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan regional government to redouble their efforts in terms of financial and logistical support in providing essential services, land allocation and site preparation for IDP camps. Our thoughts are very much with the people of Iraq and Syria at this very troubled time.